Winners and Losers is an intensive four-week program led by creative artists and educators Alice Stewart, Mike Lazer-Walker, and returning favourites Kati Hyppä and Niklas Roy.
Children grow up with a playful instinct. We learn to relate to, interact with and understand other humans through ‘games’. These games teach us notions of competition and cooperation that help acclimatize us to the adult world. Wrapped up in the idea of a game is frequently a notion of winning or losing. How does this conception trickle into our adult psyches and affect the social, economic and physical infrastructure we co-create?
Through world-building, and the creation of interactive and tactile experiences, we will create experimental games in the form of physical artifacts and installations. To do this, we will use both hardware and software to sense and respond to the environment around us as we set out to envision new societies and new modalities of play that might exist within them.
In this program we will take a closer look at how competition and cooperation, experienced through games, plays into our lives and our conception of the world, as we set out to prototype playful experiences and create physical, embodied, and experimental games.
Social networks, service providers and even employers are increasingly ‘gamifying’ interfaces and feedback systems to encourage attention and manage labour. At the same time creative communities, from escape room designers to producers of immersive theatre, are developing new types of participatory, playful experiences rooted physical spaces.
The time is ripe not simply to push the boundaries of what a game is but also to explore the assumptions and attitudes encapsulated in our shared concept of a ‘game’.
In pursuit of these goals, this course will focus on physical computing and interactivity, exploring the creative intersection of electronics and repurposed materials. You will be introduced to programming for microcontrollers and mini-computers as well as adapting found objects and appliances in playful ways. We will learn how these approaches can work together and empower you to create interactive devices and artifacts, which can support playful interactions with your audience.
Artist / Student (Full Time)*
Two Week Program*
Women and persons from LGBTQ+ and other under-represented communities in the tech field highly encouraged to apply!
*Includes in-class materials, use of space, and professional mentorship
Note: If you'd like us to seek out your accommodation for the month, please add €525 to the above fee.
In this course, you will be introduced to
- Tools for generating ideas, developing mechanics, building stories, completing an idea, and finding players to play*
- Tools for creating interactive artworks*
- Toolkits and platforms for making experimental games like Processing, P5.js*
- Context and inspiration: what’s happening in different experimental play communities today?*
- Wearables, sensors, wireless devices*
- Electronics and simple circuitry*
- Basic programming using Arduino microcontrollers - motors, steppers, servos, sensors, LED strips, etc.*
- Making projects portable with raspberry pi and power supplies*
- Introduction to repurposing older artworks and interfaces*
- Challenges and conversations on play from a variety of perspectives*
- An amazing network and community of like-minded creative beings and potential future collaborators
- *No previous experience necessary
Week 1: Introductions, concepts, world-building, narratives, play, and critical discourse, intoduction to electronics, sensors, arduino microcrontrollers.
Week 2: Tools and Techniques for creating experimental games through interactive phyiscal computing. Using old devices to create new experimental game artifacts.
Week 3: Advanced physical computing for creating experimental games for interactivity in public spaces.
Week 4: Creating collective narrative and interactive experiences and games which will be open to the public for showcase on the final day of the program.
NOTE: We're in our fourth full year (fifth summer!) and we're still excitedly exploring different learning formats to see what works best for YOU our former and future students! With this in mind, we've decided to highlight two weeks of our upcoming Winners and Losers program, offering it up as it's own special two week workshop.
This breaks down to: one intensive week of working with the brilliant Niklas Roy and his equally wonderful partner in crime Kati Hyppa and one week in which the two of them serve as mentors to help you create brilliant mechatronic game pieces for display in our final showcase!
This is an advanced workshop, we expect that you already know what a resistor is. If you're interested but don't know the basics of electronics, please consider applying for the full four-week program.
Who is this program for?
Join the diverse movement of digital artists, creative coders, game-modders, art-games communities, experience designers, immersive theatre writers, personal-games advocates, story-tellers, performance artists, street game enthusiasts, and champions of the playful as we spend a month this summer combining technology, storytelling, and experimental games.
This workshop is geared toward anyone involved in creative projects that wish to begin incorporating world-building, interactivity, electronics, and experimental games and experiences into their work or practice. The course approaches game-making from an introductory level. No prior experience is required.
Unpacking the title Winners and Losers
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